Mark Zuckerberg has announced additional plans to extend one of Meta’s VR capabilities to social media and messaging apps, as well as adding creepy digital assistants to video chats for human employees, known as avatars.
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, announced plans to bring its Horizon social VR avatars to Reels, WhatsApp, and Messenger. A person’s actual skin tone, hairstyle, and clothing preferences would be used to create the avatars.
According to Zuckerberg, a fully virtual roundtable meeting would consist of your avatar and your colleagues’ avatars chatting in a third mode, between turning the camera on and off completely while you’re still speaking and reacting. The difference is that you’re not in front of the camera, so it’s more of a camera off mode.
The company also announced that it is working to allow users to use their avatars instead of live video in video chats on WhatsApp and Messenger.
Meta, which spent $10 billion last year building the metaverse, a digital space where users can interact with experiences and other people using VR technology, has shown that the video chat avatar feature would bring Microsoft apps to Meta Horizon workrooms, where workers’ avatars meet to create a unified, digital office that we believe can significantly improve distributed work.
Meta says it expects to introduce this avatar feature for video chats next year.
The sources for this piece include an article in Fortune.